On Yoga

I went to my first Restorative Yoga class tonight and though I immediately paused at the Tarot-like “words of wisdom” cards that they passed out at the beginning of class. I’m glad I went. My yoga studio cancelled my 6AM Saturday yoga and replaced my Wednesday Pilates Barre class with a sprightly dance/barre class. Pretty much any form of exercise that incorporates dance especially, and I realize how hokey I sound when I say this, “sexy” dance moves, makes me wish I was anywhere else doing basically anything else. Ballet has seemed to be the exception (but, like, totally amateur, just-for-fun ballet).

I’ve been slightly adrift ever since. I hope by going to yoga last Saturday at 8AM and then to tonight’s class, I’ll get back into my groove. I walk to the trax every morning and night, but as my job requires so much sitting, I know I need to do something a bit extra.

The Restorative class has less postures, but you stay in them much longer. The instructor, Alexis had such a calm voice and towards the end of class she moved my head and shoulders (technical term?) and smelled of spearmint. I think I’ll go back.

Mustache Monday: Grocery Bill Comps on a Diet

Mr. Money Mustache has a lot of opinions about cutting down grocery bills. My own opinion is that if I had the resources, I would hire out my culinary thinking to professionals. While the husband and I have talked about growing a garden in our small outdoor space, the cooling weather has put a temporary kibosh on that idea.

The most recent US average of monthly Food Plans for a family of 2, ages 19-50 ranges from $390 (thrifty) to $774.30 (liberal). A quick Mint check of our grocery bills in 2014 shows our average monthly groceries to be $300.

The husband was concerned that our 3 Day Facelift Diet would show a big jump in grocery expenses so I thought I would do a run down of our expenses for that time.

Breakfasts: Trader Joe’s – steel cut oatmeal $3.29, bananas (7 @ $0.19 = $1.33), organic cage free eggs $3.29, frozen berries $2.99, pineapple $1.79, honey greek yogurt $4.99; Target – grapes $4.53, spinach $2.98; Whole Foods Larabar (4 for $5.00), Smith’s kale $3.99, cheddar cheese $1.79, flax seeds $2.69, heirloom tomatoes $3.49

Total Breakfasts: $42.15

Lunches: Smith’s cucumbers $1.78, Trader Joe’s almonds $5.99, lunch at Nauvoo Cafe $8.62, other ingredients already included in Breakfast breakout

Total Lunches: $16.39

Dinners: Trader Joe’s – quinoa $5.99, balsamic vinegar $3.99; Smith’s – extra virgin olive oil $6.99, frozen veggies $1.19; Costco wild Alaskan sockeye salmon $36.99

Total Dinners: $55.15

Snacks/Treats: Trader Joe’s – pistachios $7.49, pumpkin seeds (for husband) $6.99; other ingredients already mentioned

Total Snacks: $14.48

Grand Total: $128.17

As a caveat, we did not consume all of these groceries in three days. In fact, most of these groceries will last us through the rest of this week especially the snacks. The biggest expense was definitely the salmon. We were able to eat it all in three days. Given the price tag and the quantity, I’d like to be able to find other ways to get our fish consumption. We’d still be under the moderate cost plan according to the USDA weekly totals, but I want to keep our grocery bill to our usual average of $75/week. Must find the balance!


3 Day Facelift Diet: Final Day Three!

Final Day of the Dr Perricone’s 3 Day Facelift Diet ended yesterday. Both my sugar cravings and bread cravings were pretty vocal on the last day so I’m glad I made it through without cheating (absent minded carrot consumption on Day 2 not withstanding). It’s not to say I never felt hungry throughout these three days, but I never felt hungry after a meal or a snack. Which is kind of how it’s supposed to be right?

Breakfast: 3 egg omelette lightly salted and peppered with cheddar cheese, spinach and heirloom tomatoes with a kale smoothie (Trader Joe’s honey greek yogurt, apples, grapes, pineapple, flax seeds and kale)

Lunch: the husband and I went for a long drive through Southern Utah to listen to General Conference, we packed baggies of almonds, heirloom tomatoes and bananas

Dinner: We got back around dinner time and decided to eat leftovers from the day before, extra virgin olive oil and garlic marinated salmon and a spinach salad with home made balsamic vinaigrette, heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers.

After dinner sweet: Although I was no longer hungry, I craved something sweet. Another banana did nothing to combat my sugar craving like in days before so I ate a Cherry Pie Larabar. Home run!

Final thoughts: The “facelift” of this diet wasn’t exactly transformative. With the changes to my skincare routine, it was hard to notice if my face was less puffy and red when it really wasn’t too puffy or red in the beginning. I did breakout a little on day 2 which was kind of a bummer. I don’t necessarily attribute it to the diet. Again, I didn’t follow the diet to the letter. My fish consumption didn’t follow the recommendation and I could’ve eaten more berries.

Even so, my biggest compliment during this diet was that it makes me want to implement some pretty big changes to my routine. My bad snacking habits seem less intimidating to tackle when I have healthy alternatives that don’t feel like punishments anymore and that I know will tie me over until my next meal. I’m still not the biggest fish fan, but it seems a lot easier to incorporate into my diet than I originally thought. Also, I really don’t need dessert every night.

Feeling hungry is not bad. Eating mindlessly (whether out of boredom, stress, sugar cravings) is bad. Taking an extra few seconds to realize why I’m hungry helped me to see what I needed, even if it was the realization that I could wait another hour before dinner.

3 Day Facelift Diet: Day Two

Day Two of the Dr. Perricone’s 3 Day Facelift Diet and I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge change in my skin. I’m also not following his menu suggestions to the letter. My main goal for this “diet” was to see if I could go three days without refined sugar and gluten. So far, so good.

Breakfast: Here’s where I confess that I’m a terrible breakfast eater. Only the 2nd day and I had nothing prepared. I ate a Snickerdoodle Larabar and a handful of grapes. The Larabar was surprisingly good as I usually hate all protein bars especially if they’re supposed to be good for me.

Lunch: I had a lunch date with a dear friend from highschool. We went to the Nauvoo Cafe and I ordered a berry salad: romaine lettuce, cashews, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. No dressing. After I ate all of the fruit, it became only slightly less depressing than my salad yesterday. Sigh. The much needed chat was a good distraction from this pitiful meal.

Snack: I ate another handful of grapes and about a cup of raw almonds. My snacks have greatly improved and I hope to continue this habit in the future instead of opting for a bag of chips or vending machine cookies.

Dinner: The husband grilled salmon again, this time marinating the fish in a mixture of extra virgin olive oil, lemon and garlic. So good! We microwaved frozen veggies of broccoli, carrots, beans and cauliflower with a little salt and pepper. I realize as I’m typing this that Dr. P said to stay away from root vegetables like carrots. Oops. I think we should get points for not buttering the crap out of these veggies like we would have done in the past. We also had a spinach salad with cucumber and cherry tomatoes. I learned my lesson from this afternoon and made my own dressing using balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. This was a salad I actually relished eating. Win!

I am still craving bread and when one of the characters in the book I’m reading mentioned french toast, I almost went into a feverish whimper. I am proud of myself for not cheating. Every time I would whine about what I couldn’t eat in my head, I realized it was basically my bad food habits talking. We’ll see how tomorrow goes, but I’d like to make some real changes. Hopefully.


3 Day Facelift Diet: Day One

I’ve always relied on the husband to set our meal plans, mostly because my culinary expertise hovers around bowls of cereal and grilled cheese sandwiches. When I heard about Dr. Perricone’s 3 day face lift (via), I thought the short length could give me a peek at the foods I should be eating and those I should be avoiding. Also, I forced the husband to do this with me. Strength in numbers!

This TED talk gave me the push I needed to at least try:

So here it goes, Day 1

Breakfast: I woke up early and made this steel cut oatmeal recipe. I topped the oatmeal with honey and banana slices. The husband had two hardboiled eggs and the oatmeal. Apparently, oatmeal is more the husband’s thing. I picked at my oatmeal and finished the banana. Water to drink.

Snack: I had a handful of raw almonds and a banana. Yum!

Lunch: I was not altogether prepared for lunch. I had the saddest salad ever just spinach leaves and lightly salted cucumber slices. I could’ve brought a homemade dressing, but I left it at home. Boo. I also had a sandwich bag full of grapes. Water throughout the day.

Afternoon snack: a handful of pistachios.

Dinner: This was when I tried to make quinoa for the first time and remembered that everything I liked about the quinoa salad I had was not actually the quinoa. Grumpy eating of quinoa commenced. Dr. P suggests that wild Alaskan salmon be eaten twice a day. The filets we got at Costco were pretty big, so wash? We also had steamed broccoli with salt and pepper. My favorite!

After dinner, the husband made a kale and fruit smoothie. It had Trader Joe’s honey greek yogurt, kale, pineapples, mangoes and bananas.

I had pretty intense bread cravings through out the day to which the lil sis pointed out how pathetic I am seeing as how this is the first day. I was surprised how sated I could be by reaching for fruit when I wanted something sweet. On to day two!